Too Tasty

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Who Should be in Timeout?

Lincoln drove us back to Burberry after and by the time we got there, I only had few hours before my shift at Too Tasty began.

Maven, Teela, and I crashed at Lincoln's sister's house. Siobhan was such a sweet woman and didn't complain as Lincoln ushered us into her home early in the morning.

Her daughter Trini was so adorable when she came down to greet us as we walked into their living room.

Oops, I guess we made too much noise.

"Get some rest girls. You guys can stay here for as long as you need," said Siobhan with a tired smile.

"Thank you," said Teela to Siobhan. Maven looked at her with a surprised expression which soon morphed into a smirk.

"Finally, you've learned manners. I've succeeded in life. Now I can rest in peace," Maven said as she yawned.

I closed my eyes and fell asleep right in the armchair after setting my alarm for seven a.m.

---7 a.m.---

My alarm started playing and I groaned in pain as I peeled my eyes open. I needed to get to work so I tiptoed upstairs in search of the bathroom.

I borrowed Siobhan's shower and grabbed a spare toothbrush from the shelf in her bathroom.

I hope she won't mind.

I need to walk to work but how am I going to sneak out without Lincoln hearing?

I ran my fingers through my bangs in efforts to straighten them but shortly gave up. I walked lightly down the stairs into the living room to grab my purse and crept towards the door.

I didn't want to be a burden on Lincoln and his family but I know my sisters need support from someone other than me.

Somebody cleared their throat behind me and I stopped.

"Where do you think you're going?" asked Siobhan, as she rubbed her eyes.

"To work. Sorry, I woke you up," I said, quietly.

"Don't worry about it. Lincoln filled me in on your situation and told me not to let you out of his sight. Trini has school at 9 am anyways so let me drop you to work," she said, smiling at me.

"Alright then, there's no point in arguing with Lincoln. He's too stubborn," I said as I pulled the front door open.

Siobhan giggled and nodded in agreement as we walked towards her car. We had a nice conversation on the short commute to the diner before I had to start working.

"See you tonight," Siobhan called, as she waved goodbye to me.

I turned on the lights in the diner and started my morning routine of setting up the food prep.

Dear God, please don't let Max show up today. I don't think I can handle his craziness today.

I sang a song as I baked some fresh cupcakes for the dessert menu and time literally whizzed by. The diner was already full of morning customers and I was all set to go.

I secretly grinned when I saw that Max hadn't shown up after seeing that it was 9:30 am.

Everything was going great until Max walked in a couple of minutes later. This time he looked like he was advertising for Adidas with all of his soccer gear.

Seriously? Who wears shin guards to work with soccer cleats?

His outfit was neon pink and yellow this time. He even brought his own soccer ball with him and a duffel bag. Max caught the attention of the diner's regular customers who started to stare at him. I walked over to my phone and cranked my jazz playlist on Spotify louder.

Max smiled as he noticed all of the attention he was receiving and practically flounced towards me.

"How you doin' Kari!?" Max asked. He tossed a grin at me and I noticed the small gap between his teeth. It made him look cute but it didn't change the fact that he was the offspring of a devil. Who knows what he'll put me through today.

"Why are you dressed like you had a soccer match Max? This isn't a playground goddamnit!" I screeched at him from across the counter.

Max tossed me a playful grin and wistfully stared at my cupcakes that I had baked this morning.

I won't pity him. He needs to learn professionalism.

"What do you mean? I do have a soccer match soon," Max drawled out whilst making googly eyes at the cupcake as one would magically appear in his hands.

"Really? Then what the bloody hell are you doing here? I thought I told you to come here dressed professionally and on time," I hissed at him.

He giggled at me and pouted. "My sis is mad at me. I'll make her happy again," Max said, slowly backing away from the counter.

He grabbed his soccer ball and started doing basic drills like scissors and mini-dribbles.

"Max, I'm not your bloody sister. Don't---," I said. I sprinted out from behind the counter and grabbed onto the back of his soccer jersey but he was too quick.

Max started dribbling around the tables and even got a young boy to play a mini soccer match. IN THE MIDDLE OF A FUCKING BAKERY.

"Are you happy now? Look at how much fun we're having sis!!" Max called out to me from the back of the diner.

I started running towards him as he kicked the ball in my direction and tackled him by the waist. I cringed when my I heard the ball crash into the nearby table but could do nothing to stop my fall either.

This is going to hurt like a bitch tomorrow morning.

I groaned and Max started to cry like a little baby as we hit the ground. This was so fucking humiliating.

Just wait until Mario gets back here. I swear to God I will curse him out.

I pushed myself off of him and stared down at Max.

"Max, listen to me very carefully. I'm under strict orders to quote on quote, 'give the young man a chance.' I'm trying to help you but you're making it difficult. Play any sport here again and I'll change your paycheck date to weekly instead of daily. Got it?" I said in a stern voice.

"But, but, you can't do that. It was only a game and you joined in. You tackled me down to the ground like we were on a football field. This isn't a turf Kari. So who should be in a timeout now?" Max said before beginning to sob.

I growled as I considered his words.

He's right, I shouldn't have tackled him but he wasn't listening to me. I hope that Quinton Thompson doesn't watch his security feed because this would be super embarrassing.

"Fine, I'll give myself a time out. By teaching you how to bake. If you behave yourself and help me bake, I'll reward you with a cupcake. Deal?" I said.

I extended a hand to help Max up but instead, he shook my hand and stood up on his own.

I backed away slowly as I saw another goofy grin emerge on Max's face as he tugged on a strand of my wavy black hair. The customers were enjoying my predicament of having nowhere to go since we were already at the far end of the bakery.

"I love you so much, Kari. You're the best sister ever," Max said as he folded his arms around me to give me a bear hug. He didn't stop at a hug. He even twirled me around and I was terrified that he'd drop me. I clutched his shoulders with a death grip and sighed in relief when he put me down.

Surprise, surprise. He didn't. At least he has good motor skills. He just needs some common sense and someone to be a good example.

Except, I don't think that's me. Mario is out of his mind for choosing me of all people. How am I going to make a grown ass man child into a man?

I cleared my throat and extracted myself from his iron-clad grip as I guided him towards the kitchen.

"You're going to mix the chocolate chip, butter, and dough for me," I said, rubbing my eyes wearily.

Max nodded eagerly as he kept his eyes on my red velvet cupcakes on display. You could see the counter from the kitchen because I always left the kitchen door propped open.

I tied an apron around his clothes because it seemed like he'd take a lifetime to figure it out.

I was shocked to see Max mixing intently and focusing on what tasks I gave him. Either this calmed him down or he really liked sweet desserts. I think he likes anything that gives him a sugar high. Being calm wasn't in Max's dictionary...at least, based on what I do know about him, I haven't seen him be quiet in a while.

"Alright, now that the cookie batter is done, help me make little circles. Watch and then try it," I said. His eyes honed in on what I was doing as he paid full attention to me.

It took Max a couple of tries before he got the hang of it. I left him to finish the rest while I walked over to the grill to make the rest of the breakfast sandwiches that people ordered.

"This is yummy," I heard Max say. I turned around and saw that he had polished off two red velvet cupcakes already. His strategy was to distract me and conquer the cupcakes.

Sneaky Max.

Hmmm, I like his thinking.

At least he's not making a fool out of himself.

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